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Здравствуйте.

По настоянию камрадов пишу сюда. В настоящее время занят переводом книги Седрика Делвеса - Сквозь разгневанное море, SAS в Фолклендской войне.

Добил первую часть книги, посвященную возвращению Южной Георгии. Перевод корявенький, но читать, думаю, можно, к концу работы надеюсь привести все в божеский вид.


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Приветствую тебя, дружище!
Давно пора было это сделать)


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Кто-то не поленился и написал на амазоне полноценную рецензию. Очень критическую.
Но книга, безусловно, полноценный бестселлер


Comments on Delves’ Across the Angry Sea

Delves’ describes in often fine prose the beauty and the awfulness of combat, in frozen and little known precincts of the South Atlantic. Why risk lives and equipment in a chancy attempt to regain an almost uninhabitable piece of ice and stone, South Georgia, from a third rate military and diplomatic power---Argentina? Margaret Thatcher, knowing little about war, risked her brave boys and spent billions of pounds on chunks of rock and ice that few valued at tuppence. US Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State concluded, in despair, that if the UK lost this petty conflict, the alliance between the United States and Great Britain and the agreements among both our NATO allies might suffer irrevocable wrents. The South Georgia affair was a political event colored by the dramatic use of small military units. The electorate was cowed into the notion that Britain retained the upper hand and that Argentina’s cessation of the war was close at hand. They needed action.
Delves work shows bravery, clumsiness, hubris and wastage at their most frantic. Mistakes too. No Argentine subs thwarted HMS Antrim or the landing parties. Most stayed at home. Only three Argentine torpedoes are known to have been fired. None hit. SAS’ raid on Pebble Island, a site thought erroneously to be a major Argentine Air Force facility offers a template for what followed. The target was a squadron of Pucara attack planes. They had been transferred from their base at Goose Green for reasons of safety.
The Pucara was a failed military weapon. After two Pucaras went nose into the mud on takeoff from Goose Green the second pilot was discarded to lessen weight, as were the principal weaponry and half the fuel load. The remaining pilot navigated, lined up targets, dropped the bomb and if unwounded and alive flew home alone. The squadron’s pilots were nearly unanimous in declining to fly combat missions. A few flew. Twelve hundred of the plane’s maintenance men and their tools were left at Goose Green. The probability of an attack on British troops or ships was close to zero. Delves had selected the planes as a ripe military target. No defense was expected and none was offered. Delves’ small and capable raiding force destroyed all the grounded planes. During the force’s exfiltration two senior sergeants decided to resolve their simmering dispute the old-fashioned way. After inflicting damage on each other they rejoined their unit showing if nothing else that Delves’ D Squadron was not a happy Band of Brothers.
Here begins the back story that foretells the action on South Georgia. Both the Wets in Thatcher’s cabinet and a little informed electorate wanted action followed by a negotiated settlement. Nott the UK Minister of Defense and Pym the Foreign Secretary put their faith in Occam’s Razor. South Georgia was the blade. The electorate wanted action. General Peter de la Billiere the head of British Special Forces hung about Cabinet Offices and imposed the belief on whomever he could find that his troops could, unaided by the heavy battalions, prick the Argentines into quitting. South Georgia had no heavy guns, anti-air defense, lines of defense or economic value. It had no strategic value to either belligerent. Yet the Cabinet, advised or perhaps badgered by General de la Billiere took little convincing. A mission to retake South Georgia was put underway on April 7th, 1982.
Delves omitted from his narrative that he, his immediate boss LtCol. Mike Rose based on Ascension Island and the SAS commander in Britain used the US TACSAT that provided excellent communications among them. It had the further purpose of evading the established chain of command that spread from Northwood the HQ for the Falklands effort to all units under their purview. General De La Billiere (DLB)and Rose could offer suggestions and commands to Delves before, during and after the operation. This doubling of communications cast doubt on whose the raid was. Who owned it: conventional forces or the SAS; Northwood via Sheridan or De la Billiere via the American donated TACSAT.
Delves’ narrative is replete with hubristic sometimes silly statements. “We assumed the Americans had to be listening on our TACSAT conferences” p 16. Wrong. Relatively junior officers’ chatter was of no interest.
“As the war progressed the US showed…support. P. 16 Two weeks before Argentina invaded the Falklands US SecNav John Lehman had an inkling that war was about to begin. He sent two small tankers of oil to Ascension Island for the British navy to refuel. That is before the UK knew that war was on. The US government did not wait to help the UK”
“He was the designated land force commander and Brian Young our boss.” P. 26. Young CO of HMS Antrim was “Boss” until the troops landed. From that moment Sheridan was the commander of all British forces on South Georgia
Delves inserted his men on 21 April1982
P. 31 “Should news of our moves seep out…” P. 34 “We had to get eyes on the target”. P. 28 “close in recce.” The British Antarctic Survey had five huts scattered about South Georgia inhabited by their scientists who monitored the island closely. They sent their reports en clair to their Cambridge HQ, Dr. Richard Laws, who passed them to Rear Admiral Tony Wheatly RN at Northwood. None of their reports showed Argentine military movement. P. 37 “We should approach the target with utmost caution…..could take four to five days to complete the task.” Delves writes as though planning the Normandy invasion. It was not. Napoleon did not await Wellington on South Georgia.
Little known from the narrative in Delves’ book is that prior to the landing Sheridan and Lt.Col. Keith Eve RA had drawn up a meticulous fire plan for HMS Antrim’s guns to destroy whatever troops and their positions lay ashore. The Fire Plan (The reviewer has a copy) was war college perfect and would demoralize any soldier on the wrong end. It worked. No resistance was offered. Major Sheridan landed his own small Head Quarters group and M Company Group from 42 Commando, adequate to put paid to any chilled-out Argentines. The RM force, ably commanded and knowing their goals was the singular combat British force on the ground on South Georgia. Delves’ valiant men were not.

The reader should know that the Soviets out up at least six geo-centric satellites over the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. The US SecDef Cap Weinberger diverted, at great cost six American satellites from their normal missions in order to monitor closely activities of both Argentina and the UK and anyone else who might show curiosity about this peculiar affair. The take from these missions was sent promptly to the UK. This reviewer ran, with a small team, an SR-71 mission that made two passes over the Falklands and South Georgia. The results of this mission were also delivered to the UK. Delves writes that he set out on the mission with almost no ground knowledge. He had all the ground data he needed had he looked or listened. So did the rest of the military world.
Delves insistence that a covert patrol be inserted atop Fortuna Glacier was opposed by many of HMS Endurance’s crew who had foot on the ground experience atop the glacier. Sheridan a former RM Olympic team member and others with similar experience opposed the landing claiming that the crevasses were large enough to prevent the SAS from pulling their pulks safely. BAS Peter Stark had lived on the island for two years steadfastly opposed landing on Fortuna. Delves disagreed. SAS troops landed by helicopter. In the event no lives were lost, but the SAS landing party, marooned for many hours in awful weather had to extracted from the glacier at great risk, the loss of their equipment and the destruction of two badly needed and borrowed helicopters. The heroic rescue of Delves’ men, approached disaster; the helo pilot’s performance was extraordinary. The survivors of this misfortune were rescued from Fortuna Glacier and recovered from frostbite and other annoyances over the next few days. Delves underestimation of the terrible weather and poor judgement was foreseen by many aboard the HMS Antrim and gave the Wets in London talking points sufficient to pause the war. Yet good advice and hard data went unheeded by Delves and his superiors.
This failed mission had reverberations. First, Argentina knew that combat seemed likely. Second the destruction of two helicopters strained the logistic efforts of the ground effort on East Falkands.
Delves devotes many words to the baggage his unit carried south. On his Boat Troop’s list were outboard motors that had failed in previous exercises. In his reconnaissance of Stromness three of same five engines failed, the men rescued after great and hazardous effort. Why bring faulty gear to war when it had been shown regularly to fail? A few marines scanned Delves’ Mountain troop’s climbing gear. It was found to be standard army issue. Why ordinary equipment for elite troops?
Delves’ insertion of D Squadron onto South Georgia had taken place on 21 April 1982. For all the disputes, planning, lack of sleep and horrid weather no battle ever ensued. Delves, men leap frogged over the Royal Marines to be the first to enter and capture Grytviken, South Georgia’s main village and its contents. On the way they fired two Milan ani-tank missiles at presumed military targets. No tanks existed on the island. Delves’ men did hit and kill two elephant seals. Delves’ awkwardness continued. Later during the siege of Port Stanley Delves was tasked with reconnaissance of MT. Kent prior to Lt.Col. Nick Vaux’ brilliantly prepared and executed plan for taking that strategic object. Vaux has written publicly that he never received the needed data from Delves.
War casts strange shadows. During the war an ill connected fuel hose from a shore side trunk to HMS Plymouth spewed fuel over this reviewer’s crisp white uniform and burned his right leg. Never sent HMG a bill. David J. Kenney


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Весьма свежая книга ровно о тех же событиях. Но уже глазами представителя личного состава эскадрона. И тоже вполне себе бестселлер. Может кому интересно будет


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Спасибо большое.


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Всегда пожалуйста!

Что интересно и на нее есть развернутая рецензия.
Похоже для англичан, особенно ветеранов, эта тема до сих пор животрепещет.


Operation Paraquet South Georgia.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 November 2021
Sea King Down’ is an interesting read and one that will go down well with those who enjoy all things SAS. Readers cannot not fail to be moved by the individual bravery of certain individuals, or the tragedy that befell the Sea King and I fall into that category, despite my comments in this review. However and not for the first time, the author’s Squadron Commander has already deliberately done the same, this account, certainly as far as Operation Paraquet is concerned, tells a grossly distorted story of what actually happened on 25th April 1982. Others may judge the accuracy of the narrative after South Georgia.

D Squadron’s unauthorised superimposition on the CinC’s operationally designated Land Force - M Company Group found from 42 Commando RM is well documented elsewhere; as are the duplicitous actions enabled by SAS TACSAT communications operating outside the formal MoD operational chain of command, not least the deliberate but unsuccessful intent to marginalise the Commander Land Force [CLF] Major Guy Sheridan RM. A Royal Marine Officer specially selected for his internationally recognised expertise of mountain and arctic warfare. Sheridan was the ideal man for the [CLF] task. The author's contention that Sheridan approved the Fortuna Glacier debacle is not correct. On the contrary, he specifically ordered OC D Squadron not to plan recce insertions anywhere near glaciated terrain. This advice was endorsed by Captain Barker of HMS Endurance, UK’s Antarctic Ice Patrol vessel; a man who knew the hostile terrain and meteorological conditions of South Georgia intimately. Prevailed upon by OC D Squadron, the Commander Task Group [CTG], the Captain of HMS Antrim inexplicably, overruled Sheridan and Barker and authorised the ensuing but predicted mission-threatening disaster. The SAS failed to make any progress on the glacier incurring cold weather injuries and had to be rescued in a completely avoidable and hazardous operation which deprived the Task Group of its only 2 troop carrying helicopters and the Troop concerned of its weapons and equipment. Building on failure, 24 hours later, elements of D Squadron needed a further rescue when Boat Troop’s insertion on to Grass Island also went embarrassingly wrong in unusually benign weather conditions.

The threat of an obsolete Argentine submarine resulted in the CTG sending his main assault force, M Company Group in RFA Tidespring 200 miles away without consulting his CLF. The truth is that immediate contingency planning by the CLF and OC M Company, in which OC D Squadron played no part, identified a reduced landing force of 75 men: consisting of three fighting troops plus a tactical HQ made up from personnel available in HMS Antrim. Again the author is misleading readers when he infers the subsequent landing was a D Squadron operation mounted by 110 men at least half of whom were SAS. In truth, the operation was ordered and commanded by Sheridan, of the 75 men who took part only 20 came from D Squadron who formed one of the troops, the other 55 ranks were Royal Marines and Royal Navy commandos. The final assault was successful but not without drama, Mountain Troop had been tasked to advance to the slopes of Brown Mountain to dominate the high ground and afford cover for the advancing troops to pass through them. Despite what is written, there were no enemy positions on Brown Mountain or the approaches to Grytviken, there was no intensive fire, because the Argentines surrendered without firing a shot! What is true is that Sheridan having landed expected Brown Mountain to be secured. It had not been, I was there and witnessed an angry Sheridan give some very terse instructions to the SAS commander to get up from his prone position, sort out his troop and get moving.

Shortly after this OC D Squardron left his men on Brown Mountain and with a couple of others moved off towards King Edward Point (KEP) disobeying Sheridan’s orders to halt and a warning that the approaches might be mined. His sole intention was to raise the Union Flag in KEP and secure a Flashman-esque 15 minutes of fame. The reader should contrast this with extracts from the London Gazette which credits OC D Squadron with leading his men into Cumberland Bay on the 21st April, [erroneously four days before it actually happened!] by employing two SAS troops he captured Grytviken without loss of life, further that he led his men coolly directing operations under intensive fire from the enemy. It just did not happen that way at all, the assault took place on the 25th April, there was only one SAS troop of 20 men and there was definitely no enemy fire.

The 55 men of the 2 Royal Marines troops and Sheridan’s HQ entered KEP and began to manage the Argentine 100+ garrison. The remaining 17 or so SAS were the last to arrive and played no part in securing the objective or the prisoners. Thoroughly, exasperated by the actions of D Squadron and their commander, Sheridan ordered the SAS to leave KEP and return to HMS Antrim which they did.
Therefore the author’s account of the part played by the SAS in KEP comes from the realms of fantasy and can be refuted by those of us who were there and took charge. The author had not arrived in King Edward Point at the point the Argentine casualty was treated and it was M Company’s medical team who gave further treatment to the casualty with an already amputated leg who then evacuated him to HMS Antrim. Captain Bicain could not have expressed his gratitude to them for the treatment his crew member received, giving yet another misleading impression of SAS involvement in that matter, by omission of fact. Not surprisingly the author seems disappointed the raising of the flag by his Sergeant Major was not mentioned later, clearly hoping it might have been mentioned in Mrs Thatcher’s Downing Street announcement of Task Force success. It lends credence however to the desperation of the SAS to be seen as the ones credited for retaking South Georgia. In response to the author’s comments regarding POW’s, the SAS in fact had no dealings with the POW’s who were the responsibility of M Company Group. The SAS had been ordered off South Georgia by the CLF.

The author quite rightly states that the remainder of M Company arrived the following day but is again mischievously misleading when he states they were “detailed to take over from them” the implication being it was again the SAS in control of things and thereby giving the impression that all others involved were purely in a supporting role, this is patently untrue and again can be proved so. Operation Paraquet was a close run thing but not because of the actions of the enemy. Instead success was threatened by the actions of those who sought to undermine the operational chain of command for their own ends and sadly 40-years on continue to wilfully seek to distort the truth. It fortunately ended successfully due to good leadership, good planning by those who have never sought approbation but whom now have to put the record straight far too often. A very telling quote from the book ‘Nine Battles to Stanley’ by an Army Intelligence Officer “One SAS veteran from D Squadron later claimed that they alone could have defeated the Argentines in the Falkland Islands, as events would show, this was misplaced” Summing up perfectly the attitude and contribution of D Squadron in South Georgia.


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Спасибо еще раз.


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